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The Various Types of Curriculum

Ruby writes from the Philippines. She teaches educ. and comm. courses and holds an MA in Education. She currently pursues a PhD in Eng. Lit.


The concepts and definitions of curriculum

A curriculum is the entirety of student experiences in the educational process. The phrase refers to a planned sequence of teaching or a perspective of students' experiences in terms of instructional goals. A curriculum may include student engagement with instructional content, materials, resources, and evaluative processes. Explicit, implicit (including concealed), omitted, and extracurricular curriculum exist.

What are the curricular definitions?
When I asked my pupils what curriculum meant to them, they responded a curriculum handbook with goals and objectives or their textbooks. "Curriculum" means "to run a course" in Latin. This phrase is a metaphor for our children's curriculum. Imagine a marathon with mile markers, signposts, hydration stations, officials, and coaches.
Oliva (1997) defines curriculum as:

That which is taught in schools is called a curriculum.
a group of topics.
a content.
a course of study.
a group of resources
a list of lessons.
a list of performance goals
an academic program
is everything that occurs in the school, such as extracurricular activities, counseling, and interpersonal interactions.
all that staff members at the school have prepared.
a string of events that students go through in class.
what a particular learner goes through as a result of their education.

Tyler (1902-1994) thinks education should focus on student interests. Curriculum must entail problem solving to teach generalists, not specialists. Subjects are intended to teach pupils information, skills, and values. Wilson (1990) says, Curriculum is anything that imparts a lesson, planned or not. Humans are born learners, thus the curriculum includes the hidden, null, written, political, and societal, etc. Since students learn through exposure and modeled actions, they absorb vital social and emotional lessons from everyone in a school, including the janitorial staff, secretary, cafeteria employees, peers, and teachers. Many educators don't realize the lessons these routine connections teach youngsters. However, (White, 1903) puts it this way, "it is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers and prepares students for service."


Curriculum types

This question's answer is ambiguous. Since curriculum reflects instructional delivery modes, some say it can be categorized by the four learning theories: social, information processing, personalist, and behavioral. Child-centered, society-centered, knowledge-centered, or eclectic are curricular orientations. Common curricular philosophical perspectives parallel Idealism, Realism, Perennialism, Essentialism, Experimentalism, Existentialism, Constructivism, and Reconstructivism. All these sources show there are many curriculum types.
All of the above have impacted curricula at some point. In the Philippines and some other countries, curriculum is multilayered and varied.

1. Written curriculum. 1. Overt, explicit, or written curriculum is written as part of formal education. It may refer to a curriculum document, books, videos, and teaching resources that promote a school's instructional objective. The overt curriculum consists of written understandings and directives identified and evaluated by administrators, curriculum directors, and instructors.

2. Societal curriculum. Cortes (1981) describes this curriculum as family, peer groups, communities, churches, organizations, jobs, mass media, and other socializing influences that "teach" us throughout our lives.

This sort of curriculum may now incorporate the tremendous impacts of social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and how it creates new viewpoints and shapes individual and public opinion.

3. The null curriculum. What we don't educate implies they aren't important in school or society. Eisner's conclusion discusses null curricula. Schools' curriculum has consequences. What students can't understand or utilize impacts them.

Schools don't teach Eisner's null curriculum. Some people decide the overt (written) curriculum. Since schools can't teach everything, some must be left out. Eisner thinks the "null curriculum" teaches pupils that some information and practices are unimportant. School authorities communicate this message via the concealed curriculum without recognizing the implied goal. They're crucial. We teach conflict, not peace, and specific cultures and histories. Choices and omissions teach students.

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4. The hidden or covert curriculum. What structure and processes communicate. "Hidden curriculum" refers to what pupils learn via school structure, organizational design, and teacher and administrative behavior and attitude.

Hidden curriculum examples include messages and lessons derived from school organization — the emphasis on sequential room arrangements, cellular, timed segments of formal instruction, an annual schedule still arranged for an agrarian age, and disciplined messages where concentration equates to students sitting up straight and being quiet. Depending on the models provided and the learner's or observer's perspective, the hidden curriculum may send positive or negative signals.

5. Phantom curriculum. Messages that are widely spread and acquired via exposure to all forms of media. The enculturation of students into the prevailing meta-culture or the acculturation of students into more specific or generational subcultures depends heavily on these elements and messages.

6. Rhetorical curriculum. Policymakers, school authorities, administrators, or politicians contribute to the rhetorical curriculum. This curriculum may emerge from experts participating in idea formulation and content modifications, or from educational efforts based on national and state studies, public statements, or writings criticizing obsolete educational practices. Publications delivering pedagogical updates may also provide rhetorical curricula.

7. Applied curriculum. These elements are part of the formal curriculum (written or explicit), as are the ideas and concepts in the district curriculum guidelines. These "formal" components, nevertheless, are typically not taught. The actual curriculum that each instructor delivers and presents is known as the curriculum-in-use.

8. Concomitant curriculum. What's taught or emphasized at home, or family-related events. This sort of curriculum includes lectures on values, ethics, or morality, molded habits, or social experiences depending on the family's choices.

9. Internal curriculum. New knowledge is created by combining processes, material, and learner experiences and realities. The internal curriculum is unique to each pupil, therefore teachers have limited control over it. Teachers might use "exit slips," reflecting tasks, or debriefing talks to discover what students recall from a class. It's fascinating and enlightening to learn what learners find meaningful.

10. Received curriculum. Things that pupils genuinely retain from their education; ideas and information that are properly retained.

11. Electronic curriculum. Internet research or email-learned lessons. Overt or covert, excellent or bad, accurate or incorrect lessons might be in official or informal curricula. Media and communications overwhelm Internet and electronic media consumers. Which online messages do they see?

Online students are bombarded with ads, images, and messages. This may be truthful, intriguing, or inspiring. Other e-information may be incorrect, outdated, passé, biased, perverse, or deceitful.
Part of the curriculum must teach students how to be smart information consumers, evaluate e-content critically, and judge the authenticity of electronic sources. Students must learn to evaluate information's usefulness.
Students must learn appropriate "netiquette" and internet habits, such as the difference between "fair and authorized usage" and plagiarism and information theft.

Today's teachers must assess and discuss the electronic curriculum.


© 2022 Ruby Campos

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